The Elephant In The Room

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Prince William is forced to marry Princess Evelyn but does he have more reason to reject the marriage than she's simply not his type?

Submitted: January 13, 2019

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Submitted: January 13, 2019

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The Elephant In The Room

Rushing to his Princes side is a skinny, unassuming serving boy, his black hair tied back out his face.

Carrying his Princes breakfast, laundry and paperwork for the day, he dives, ducks and weaves through the bustling Castle, to arrive at the Princes door to find he hasn’t even woken up yet. His dark blonde hair, cut back short and muscular form was visible through his thin bed shirt.

Matthew chuckled to himself, ‘You’re hopeless.’ he placed the papers, laundry and food on his desk so he could wake the Prince. Kneeling on the bed and leaning over him, he was about to wake him up, when he was pinned to the bed.

‘I’m hopeless am I Matthew?’ asked Prince William.

Matthew struggled, ‘You were pretending to be asleep?’

‘Of course! You can’t mount a surprise attack if the person you trying to surprise suspects.’ William smiled and kissed him, ‘Does anyone suspect?’

‘No.’ Matthew smiled, ‘As far as they are concerned I’m nothing more than your devoted manservant.’

‘Well.’ he slipped his hand up his top, ‘That’s not entirely a lie now is it?’

Matthew grabbed his hand, ‘We don’t have time for this! You need to eat breakfast, sign those papers, train your troops, practise your speech writing and then you have a scheduled audience with your father.’

‘You mean the King.’ said William, ‘If we are going to remain together, you and I need to play our parts well.’ Matthew sighed.

‘Can’t we just run away together?’ asked Matthew.

William smiled, ‘We could have a farm.’

‘With chickens and cows.’ replied Matthew.

William finished, ‘Overlooking a lake. Living a simple farmers life.’

‘I can’t imagine you being a simple farmer.’ said Matthew, ‘Well then again, I suppose, you’re half way there already.’ he joked.

William chuckled, ‘I could have you imprisoned for that comment.’

‘Then, who’d look after you?’ joked Matthew. William went to kiss him, ‘No! Stop it! I have work to do and so do you.’ he got up leaving his lover in bed, ‘Besides, I’ll be here tonight.’ he left.

They went through their day separated, barely speaking, even if they did it was so William could hand out orders, they weren’t allowed to be together. If they were discovered Matthew would be facing a death sentence and William would be facing exile, neither wanted the other to be caught so they had to keep everything close to the chest.

And so they kept it a secret, but when they were in the same room, Prince William’s sister Georgina could tell something was different in the way they looked at one another, but it wasn’t her place to pry so it never went passed idle curiosity.

That night he went to the meeting with his father the King. He bowed, ‘Father. What would you like to discuss with me?’

‘Please sit. There is much to discuss.’ he smiled offering him a chair. Prince William sat, ‘We have often talked about the future of this kingdom and you have been taught how to rule, but now it is time for a much more difficult lesson.’

‘Father, I assure you I will rise to the occasion as I always have.’ Prince William replied.

‘The future of this kingdom rests with you and so you require a common law wife to produce a legitimate heir, to that end, I have found you an excellent wife. She will be arriving here tomorrow morning.’ announced King Edward.

Prince William laughed, ‘Father, this must be some kind of joke, how can I marry someone I have never met?’

King Edward explained, ‘You have met her at your eighteenth, you danced with her for longer than all the others, she is Princess Evelyn.’

‘Father, I danced with her because it was expected of me to dance with all eligible ladies, the time span was up to the song being played at the time.’ Prince William explained.

‘When we talk about your future we are not just talking about your own personal happiness but the safety and security of the whole kingdom!’ he walked off, ‘The decision is final.’

‘I have no feelings for her whatsoever!’ exclaimed Prince William.

Turning back, ‘Then, I encourage you to find some!’ King Edward left.

Prince William was returning to his chambers, to see Matthew walking towards him. Matthew smiled and bowed as expected, ‘Prince William. How did the meeting with the King go?’

‘My father had some surprising news for me. He expects me to marry Princess Evelyn.’ William explained.

‘What?’ asked Matthew.

‘Oh don’t be nervous I’m not going to!’ William answered.

‘I’m not nervous.’ he replied. Another servant walked past.

‘No. Of course not, why would you be?’ William asked he walked away.

That night Matthew couldn’t bring himself to go to William’s bedside, he sat in his quarters, silently staring out the window, wishing he’d wake up tomorrow and it would all have been a bad dream.

But as the morning broke and the carriages started arriving, he couldn’t put it off any longer and went out to greet the guests. ’ William walked out and saw him, he diverted to speak to him.

‘Where were you last night and this morning?’ Prince William asked.

‘Forgive me. I was not well and didn’t wish to infect you.’ Matthew lied.

Prince William sighed, ‘Take all the time you need.’ he walked off without another word, but the six little words he left him with were haunting.

As he watched the man he admired greet the woman it seemed destined to become his wife, it felt as though his heart was being ripped out. Princess Evelyn was a beauty, there was no denying it, she was smart, funny, sophisticated, with a good heart and the right family name.

She was the perfect match for the Prince but neither Matthew or the Prince cared about any of that, all the reasons to go through with the marriage held no merit in their eyes. Leading his intended into the Castle, Prince William glanced at Matthews expression briefly before he turned away.

Another servant tended to him, ‘Are you alright?’

Matthew lied, ‘Yes, thank you.’

‘It’s beautiful isn’t it?’ she asked, ‘The Prince has finally come of an age where he can marry and start a family, it will be so lovely to hear the pitter-patter of children filling the Castle again.’

Matthew composed himself enough to respond, ‘Yes, it’s wonderful! I’m sure the Prince will be very happy.’

That night at dinner Matthew was summoned to help serve due to the extra number of guests, he walked in with drinks and saw Prince William sitting with Princess Evelyn smiling and laughing. He bit his tongue and avoided serving the head table. Every now and again he’d glance over only to look away annoyed with himself.

‘They look so natural and perfect together.’ thought Matthew.

Afterwards, he went to Prince William’s chambers to help set him up for the night ahead. He walked in to see Prince William waiting for him. He shut the door, ‘I’ll help you get your armour off.’ he walked up to him but William held his shoulders.

‘What’s been going on with you today?!’ he asked.

Matthew pushed him off, ‘Like you need to ask!’ he looked away, ‘I’m not going to stand in your way, you can be happy with Princess Evelyn. Just like you were tonight.’

‘Matthew?’ he sighed, ‘She is incredibly dull! It was just expected of me to at least show an interest in her. I was bored stiff!’

‘Really?’ he looked at William.

‘Faking laughs and smiles was all I could do to stop myself from yawning!’ explained William. He turned him round to face him, ‘My father proposed this match, if I fain interest before declining, it will appear as though I gave her a chance.’ he hugged him, ‘If I fought this decision from the start it would have been forced upon me even more. I’m sorry I know it’s hard.’

Matthew smiled, ‘No, it’s me who has to apologise, I just got so angry because I thought of how natural the two of you looked together.’

William raised his head, ‘And you don’t think we’re natural?’ Matthew shook his head, ‘We are the most natural thing ever. We are in love, do think just because of who we are who we are, it’s unnatural?’

Matthew fought back tears, ‘Oh shut up.’ he kissed him.

William pushed him down to the bed, ‘Telling me to shut up. I could have you hanged for that.’

‘Then, who’d look after you?’ he smiled, he started to undo his armour.

In the morning, Matthew felt William’s arm wrapped around him, ‘I have to get up.’ he tried to get out of the bed only to be pulled closer to him.

‘You are not going anywhere. The second you leave this room is the second we’re separated for the day. I don’t want us to part quite yet.’ William said.

Matthew turned in his grip, ‘If we are discovered in bed together like this, we’ll be separated for longer than either of us wants.’

William sighed and let him go, ‘You’re right.’

Matthew kissed him sweetly and left, only to come face to face with William’s sister Georgina, he bowed, ‘Excuse me Lady Georgina.’

‘Rather late start isn’t it?’ she asked.

Matthew smiled, ‘It takes some time to rouse the Prince the morning after a party of last nights magnitude. Please don’t worry, he will be ready to join your father and yourself for breakfast.’

Georgina smiled and straightened his clothes, ‘Don’t let your eyes betray your secret.’

‘Thank you Lady Georgina.’ he bowed and left worried she knew about them.

He showed his face in the servants quarters and pretended to make his bed, another servant leaned on the door frame, ‘Why are you making an already well made bed?’

Matthew turned, ‘You scared me.’ he smiled, ‘I must attend to the Prince.’ he walked past him but stopped when he heard him laugh.

‘Why bother coming back here at all? I’m sure the Prince’s bed is far more comfortable.’ he mocked.

Matthew refused to turn, ‘I’m sure I have no idea what you are insinuating, I was here last night. I am sorry but my duty to the Prince doesn’t run on shifts like your duties. I stay with him as long as he needs me.’ he walked out.

He was so focused on going to tell William his fears of being discovered in narrowly missed bumping into the King. He bowed, ‘Your Grace! Forgive me!’

‘Quite alright. No harm. No foul. Is my son up yet?’ he asked.

Matthew smiled, ‘I fear the wine may have gone to his head, I just wanted to talk to the physician to see if there was a cure for what ale’s him.’

King Edward smiled, ‘It is so hard to find a servant so devoted to his work. You may go.’ Matthew bowed and left without another word.

He returned to William who was up and dressed, ‘Matthew? What’s the matter with you? You’re white as a sheet!’

‘I fear a servant knows! And I fear even more that your sister does!’ he confessed, ‘Please, help me! I don’t know what to do!’

William smiled and hugged him, ‘Breathe. It’s going to be ok. I’ll sort this.’

The next morning, he watched as the servant that taunted him the other night leaving. Another servant saw it and explained, ‘Good riddance I say.’

‘What?’ asked Matthew.

‘He was caught stealing! Prince William spoke up for him, which saved his life. But, he has been exiled.’ he explained.

‘I see.’ answered Matthew leaving.

At breakfast, Matthew served the Prince, another servant served the King and a maid served Lady Georgina. While the servants that came with the guests served them.

King Edward jested, ‘I heard from your manservant that the wine went straight to your head my boy! I never thought you drank all that much!’

‘My servant is a worrier, he fears even slight intoxication will lead swiftly to total inebriation and has acquainted himself with the latest works exploring the morning after effects of alcohol. But as you can see they were quite unfounded fears!’ he smiled as everyone laughed.

Princess Evelyn smiled, ‘But it must be wonderful to have a servant that cares that much for your wellbeing! They are indeed the rarest of finds.’

William bowed his head, ‘Quite right.’

King Edward saw they weren’t connecting as planned, ‘William why don’t you take Princess Evelyn on a picnic in the woods for lunch.’ he looked over at her father, ‘As I understand it the Princess is quite the accomplished rider, that may give the Prince a run for his money!’

Princess Evelyn smiled, ‘It would be nice to ride again, it has been quite some time since I last had the opportunity to ride. I’d be delighted to accompany you, if you’d be willing.’

Matthew bit his tongue as Prince William agreed happily to the picnic. He turned his head, ‘Matthew take care of the preparations will you?’

He bowed, ‘Right away.’ he went to leave when Princess Evelyn’s servant, Gwen, walked up to him.

‘Do you mind if I help?’ Gwen asked, ‘I know what the Princess likes.’

Matthew nodded, ‘I’d appreciate the help. Thank you.’

They went to the kitchen, ‘The Prince is such a gentleman. Princess Evelyn is so lucky!’

Matthew faked a smile, ‘Princess Evelyn is a beauty! I fear though she is not the Prince’s type.’

Gwen chuckled, ‘I think you are the first person to speak honestly about the match!’

‘I didn’t mean to offend!’ Matthew exclaimed, ‘Please don’t think I did!’

‘Calm down. I’m not going to report you for treason! Expressing an opinion isn’t a crime!’ Gwen smiled.

Matthew sighed in relief, ‘Sorry I don’t even know why I said that!’

‘How long have you been his servant?’ Gwen asked.

‘Since we were both seven.’ he smiled, ‘He was upset because he didn’t know anyone his own age that he could play with. My father was his servant back then, he presented me to the King with the idea I serve as a playmate. He agreed, five years later, my father died and his duties became mine. We were twelve by this time and weren’t really playing like we used to, so transitioning into a full time servant was easy.’

‘You care for him don’t you?’ Gwen asked. Matthew blushed, ‘I didn’t mean to make you blush.’

Matthew turned away, ‘Am I that transparent?!’

‘I think it’s nice you look out for him so much. He’s a Prince, for every one person that loves him there’ll be two that don’t, having a true friend like you by his side.’ she smiled, ‘It will surely be a great comfort.’

‘What do you mean?’ asked Matthew.

Gwen blushed, ‘I shouldn’t say anymore.’

‘No go on.’ he replied.

‘There have been seven attempts on Princess Evelyn’s life.’ she fought back tears, ‘Last year she was poisoned, she was so frail I feared we’d lose her! She pulled through and that’s when a marriage was proposed.’ she looked around, ‘Wedded into an old respectable family like this, she’d be free from such horrors.’

‘I had no idea I’m sorry.’ said Matthew.

Gwen shook it off, ‘No forgive me. I shouldn’t have burdened you with this.’

‘I am glad you did. I’m Matthew by the way.’ he replied.

She curtsied, ‘Gwen.’ they prepared lunch together swapping stories and laughing.

They packed it up and prepared the horses. Matthew asked, ‘Doesn’t Princess Evelyn ride side saddle?’

‘Her father taught her how to ride both ways in to see which she preferred.’ Gwen smiled, ‘She didn’t like side saddle plus, she can canter faster this way.’

Matthew chuckled as Prince William escorted Princess Evelyn out, ‘Having fun?’ he asked.

Matthew cleared his throat, ‘We’ve prepared your mounts.’ he noticed William’s annoyance but didn’t understand it. He felt as though he was on pins and needles the whole time.

William played the role expected of him perfectly just as Matthew did. Prince William smiled, ‘I hope you will forgive me for not escorting you back but I need to talk to my servant about a matter of some delicacy.’

She smiled hoping he was going to ask his opinion on the match and left happily with the others, as soon as they were out of sight he pinned Matthew to a tree, ‘You were awfully chummy with her maid.’

‘What are you doing? Let go of me!’ Matthew replied struggling, ‘You’re hurting me!’

William let him go and walked away slightly, ‘I’m sorry.’ Matthew held his wrist and looked at his hands, ‘Does it hurt?’

Matthew ripped part of his shirt off, ‘You cut me.’ he wrapped it up, ‘What is wrong with you?’

‘YOU!’ William yelled, ‘Ever since this match was announced you’ve been distant! I told you I had no intension of accepting this offer, so why are you acting like this?!’

‘Acting like what?!’ exclaimed Matthew.

‘Are you trying to annoy me? Or get back at me?’ asked William, ‘You laugh, smile, joke and enjoy yourself with everyone else apart from me!’

Matthew clenched his fists, ‘Am I supposed to fake smiles with you?! I thought we didn’t have to pretend in front of one another.’ he huffed, ‘I’m going back to the Castle, find another servant to help you tonight.’

‘What about the picnic stuff?’ he asked.

Matthew mounted his horse, ‘You’ve got hands haven’t you?!’ he cantered off.

‘MATTHEW!’ William yelled, ‘Wait! I’m sor….!’ he saw he was out of earshot, ‘I’m sorry.’ he kicked the ground and yelled, ‘Why am I so bad at doing this!?’

Meanwhile, Matthew made it back to the Castle, un-tacking and grooming his mount he failed to hold back his tears.

Lady Georgina saw him, ‘Matthew?’ he wiped his tears away.

‘Lady Georgina!? Forgive me I didn’t see you there!’ Matthew replied.

‘No matter. Are you alright?’ Lady Georgina asked.

Matthew nodded, ‘I’m fine thank you.’ she sat encouraging him to sit with her, which he did.

‘You’re not though are you?’ Lady Georgina replied, ‘I don’t pretend to understand, but I wouldn’t like to be in William’s shoes. Forced to marry someone against his will.’ looking at him, ‘Even if his heart belongs to another?’ he looked at her, ‘Even if he feels the same way.’

‘Please don’t say anything!’ replied Matthew.

‘I won’t.’ replied Lady Georgina, ‘It’s not my secret to tell.’

‘Thank you.’ Matthew replied.

That night at dinner, William looked for his face in the room, but he wasn’t there, his father was pressing the marriage, ‘She’s a wonderful woman, she’ll make a wonderful wife.’

‘No she won’t.’ answered William ‘Not for me anyway!’ King Edward looked at him, ‘I cannot marry someone I don’t love!’

‘You can! And you will!’ King Edward replied. Prince William stood up.

‘Excuse me! But I have lost my appetite.’ he walked out. William went to his room to see Matthew waiting, ‘I thought you weren’t going to be here tonight?’

‘Neither did I.’ replied Matthew looking away.

‘How’s your hand?’ he asked.

Matthew showed him his hand, ‘Not bad!’ he smiled, ‘William, lets run away together while we have the chance!’

‘What?’ asked William.

‘We can say we are going on a hunting trip and escape together, take some money and start over somewhere no one knows us, start a farm.’ said Matthew.

William put his hands on his shoulders, ‘That is a happy dream. But this is reality.’ William sighed, ‘If I do it.’ Matthew’s eyes filled with tears as he stepped back, ‘If I marry her. What will you do?’

‘I don’t know!’ replied Matthew. He clenched his fist, ‘I’m gonna go.’

William grabbed his hand, ‘Please don’t!’ the tears finally fell from his eyes, ‘Matthew, please.’

Matthew turned, ‘What are you expecting from me?’ he exhaled, ‘The man I love is going to marry someone he doesn’t even like! Don’t think I’m going to be your bit on the side.’ Matthew took his hand back, ‘I think I know what I’d do now.’ he stepped back, ‘If you marry her, I’d leave, I wouldn’t stand in your way. I wouldn’t stand in the way of you becoming the King you are meant to be.’

‘I don’t want to be King if you aren’t there with me!’ replied William.

‘You have to.’ replied Matthew, ‘Forget about me, we were never going to work, we knew that from the start. Do what you think is right.’ he left.

William tried to follow but the door shut in his face, he rested his head on the door, he closed his eyes and sighed, ‘You’re what I think is right!’ he went to bed.

In the morning, his father came to see him, ‘William.’ he smiled, ‘I’m glad to see your fondness for Princess Evelyn growing and I want you to have this.’ he handed him a box and William opened it, ’It was your mothers, we were married for forty years, I hope it will give you and Princess Evelyn many more years of happiness.’

‘Father, I……’ he was interrupted.

‘No need to thank me.’ King Edward hugged him, ‘We’re are awaiting your happy announcement in the throne room.’ he left.

William dressed and went to the throne room, every servant and dignitary was present. He saw Matthew and clenched his fist not wanting to propose at all but even less so in front of him. Under the pressure of the audience he walked up to Princess Evelyn.

He took her hand, ‘Princess Evelyn?’ he forced himself to one knee and pulled out the ring, ‘Would you do me the honour of consenting to be my wife?’

Matthew disappeared before she gave her answer, he couldn’t compose himself as he barely made it to his chambers before breaking down in hysterics. When he calmed tears flooded his eyes, he sat on the floor, curling into himself he held his head screaming.

It took until the late evening for exhaustion to force him into sleep. He woke to sound of bells celebrating the marriage announcement. He pulled his lethargic body off the floor, ‘Come on, you knew this was coming!’ he washed his face, ‘Pull yourself together!’ he left to see King Edward waiting for him.

‘My King!?’ he bowed, ‘Forgive me, if I was expecting your company I’d of cleaned up a little.’

‘No need.’ King Edward smiled, ‘I have come on a personal matter. I came to ask you: Why do you care for my son so much? I know you’ve been his servant since childhood but this is something else isn’t it?’

‘No, My Lord! Nothing is further from the truth! I assure you!’ Matthew replied panicking.

King Edward sighed, ‘It’s as I feared isn’t it? You and William are infatuated with one another!’

‘No! That’s ridiculers! Of course not!’ Matthew replied. The tremble in his voice revealed the truth.

‘You have twenty-four hours to leave this Castle. You are forbidden to return, if you are seen here past break of day, your head will be removed from your body.’ ordered King Edward turning to leave, ‘I am sorry. My childs happiness is important to me but nothing is more important to me than the safety and security of this Kingdom!’

Matthew called him back, ‘Please! I will never see him again! I swear! I don’t want to get in the way of him becoming King but, I don’t have anywhere else to go! I can work somewhere else in the Castle away from places he frequents. Please!’

‘I am sorry Matthew.’ said King Edward, ‘I promised your father I’d look after you and I have failed him.’ he threw him a bag of gold, ‘That should get you somewhere in this world where you can live comfortably.’

Matthew sighed heavily sitting down, ‘How long have you known?’

‘I suspected something more than a servant/master relationship was going on over a year ago, but I never sought out that line of enquiry, until I saw you leave his quarters in a state of undress.’ King Edward explained, ‘It was then I knew and set to find him a wife.’

‘Please, I love him.’ replied Matthew, ‘At least let me say goodbye.’

‘I cannot allow that. I do not want him to know until after the wedding.’ said King Edward, ‘Besides it will be easier for you both to part like this. Thank you for your service. Goodbye.’ he left.

Matthew stood up and packed his things away, he refused to shed anymore tears as he left the Castle just before day broke.

Meanwhile, other servants were helping Prince William into his dress armour for his wedding.

King Edward came in, ‘Your bride is ready. Are you?’

‘Will it make the slightest bit of difference if I said no?’ William joked.

‘Wedding nerves can get the better of you if you let them. Come now. Your mother would be proud to see the man you’ve become.’ smiled King Edward.

He followed him out and down the isle, he looked around for Matthew but couldn’t see him, he thought to himself, ‘Of course he wouldn’t be here!’

The music played and Princess Evelyn walked down the isle towards him, in her stunning white dress no one could deny her beauty, but William didn’t care how beautiful she was. He didn’t love her.

As the service got underway, he was asked, ‘Do you take this woman to be your lawful wedded wife?’

William looked at her and back to the minister, ‘No I do not’ the crowd gasped, William turned back to her, ‘I am sorry but I do not. You are a wonderful, beautiful, intelligent woman. But, I cannot deny my feelings.’ said William.

Princess Evelyn sighed but smiled, ‘You do not love me.’

William shakes his head, ‘And if truth be told you do not love me either.’

Princess Evelyn chuckled, ‘Marriages of convenience, inconvenience those within the marriage.’ she held his hand and kissed it, ‘I’d rather we part ways now as friends, then make a mistake that would make us both unhappy.’

‘Please forgive me for putting both of us through this! And for not speaking up sooner.’ William left her at the alter and returned to his room.

King Edward followed him and yelled, ‘What do you think you were doing?’

‘The right thing father!’ exclaimed Prince William.

‘You are clearly not ready to be King!’ he yelled back.

‘When I am ready to be King I will be a much better one for the help and support of the person I love being beside me.’ explained Prince William.

‘Love has no place in this world! You are a young and unmarried Prince! Alliances are best formed through marriage!’ explained King Edward.

‘WHY?!’ asked Prince William, ‘Why is that the best way? How many people have married someone they hate for political gain?’

‘You will marry a Princess I select for you. We were lucky she was so understanding!’ King Edward answered.

‘Understanding?!’ Prince William exclaimed, ‘She had no feelings for me just as I had no feelings for her.’

‘That is not what I mean!’ he yelled, ‘You know what I mean!’ Prince William stepped back, ‘Did you think she wouldn’t notice!? Did you think I wouldn’t notice?! What did you think was going to happen?! You two cannot be together!’

‘Father, I….’ he was cut off.

‘Marriage will cure you of this affliction!’ King Edward looked at him, ‘I was prepared to overlook it while you were younger as a nothing more than a dalliance, but this has gone on long enough. Matthew has been banished from the Castle to return is on pain of death!’

‘You can’t do this!’ William launched himself at him only to be held back by guards.

‘I have to.’ he walked away, ‘Put him in the cells for a few days to let him cool off.’

William yelled, ‘No! Father! Please!’ he was getting dragged away, ‘I relinquish my entitlement to the throne!’

King Edward turned to look at him, ‘My son would never say that!’

‘You clearly don’t know me as well as you think you do!’ explained William, ‘I LOVE MATTHEW!’

King Edward yelled, ‘I am your KING and your FATHER! You will show me some respect! You will be left in the cells for two weeks to reflect upon your actions! When you return I expect you to marry whomever I select.’

William was thrown into a cell and locked in. He punched the wall, ‘You idiot! Why didn’t you leave with Matthew when you had the chance!?’ he punched the wall over and over before resting his head on the wall.

His blood ran from his cuts and dripped on the floor as he collapsed into tears.

In the morning, the doctor was treating his self inflicted wounds while he had arrows pointed at his head. The doctor said, ‘Are you ok?’ he didn’t respond, he was catatonic and expressionless, ‘I have known you since you were a babe William. I have never seen you like this.’

A single tear escaped his eye as he muttered, ‘M…Matthew…’

‘Matthew?’ asked the doctor, ‘I don’t know who that is.’

William’s eyes focused on him, ‘Where?’ the doctor packed up and left, unsure of what else to do.

King Edward was waiting at the door, ‘How is he?’

‘Not good.’ he replied, ‘I’ve never seen him like this. Who is Matthew?’

King Edward feigned ignorance and shook his head, ‘No idea.’ the doctor left.

William was left alone and pulled the knife he had stolen out of the doctors bag, out his sleeve and smiled, ‘Morons!’ he picked the lock and knocked out the guards.

He stole a horse and cantered across the countryside looking for Matthew. After three days, he was about to give up when he saw a lake. He remembered that’s where they dreamt of having a farm. He rode to a clearing and saw someone building a hut.

He dismounted and shielded his eyes from the sun, ‘Matthew?! Is that you?’

The man stopped and looked over, ‘William?’ he smiled and ran over. He knocked him over as he hugged him, ‘I’m so happy to see you!’

William hugged him back, ‘Matthew?’ he smiled and rolled him onto his back kissing him, ‘It’s really you!’ he kissed him again, ‘You have no idea how happy I am to see you!’ he brushed some hair off his face, ‘I didn’t do it! I called off the marriage and ran away!’ he smiled.

‘You relinquished your entitlement to the throne?!’ Matthew exclaimed, ‘You did that for me!?’

‘Of course I did! My only regret is I didn’t do it sooner.’ William replied, ‘I’m no longer a Prince, I have never been so happy!’

Matthew hugged him, ‘Nor I.’ he kissed him.

William smiled, ‘I took a lot of money from the King, it’s more than enough for a couple of chickens and cows.’

Matthew chuckled pushing him off and sitting up, ‘We have to build the house first!’

William saluted him, ‘Yes Boss!’ Matthew kissed him, ‘What was that for?’

‘For the obvious.’ smiled Matthew, ‘For staying with me!’

They built the simple farmers life they had dreamt of. William still practised his swordsmanship which kept raiders, rustlers, smugglers and bandits at bay. Matthew became quite the accomplished cook.

They never went back to the Castle despite vowing to do so. Neither Matthew nor William had a reason to any longer. William was pronounced dead to his subjects and his sister took the throne after her fathers death.

With no one knowing true identities they were ignored as just a couple of farmers supplying the nearby villages with milk, eggs and meat. They lived the simple farmers life until they died many years later passing it onto a runaway manservant who like Matthew loved his Prince more than people were willing to accept.

THE END


© Copyright 2020 MissRozza1994. All rights reserved.

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